A short medieval treatise on the mystical experience of hearing angels' song, and how to distinguish true mystical experiences from false ones. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: The Cell of Self-Knowledge, 1521
"Napoleonder", a Russian folk tale about Napoleon's career, and "The Napoleon of the People", a chapter from Balzac's novel The Country Doctor describing French folk beliefs about Napoleon's special powers and destiny. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Folk-Tales of Napoleon, translated by George Kennan (1902)
"Apologia" means "explanation". In this case, a Greek philosopher who converted to Christianity attempts to explain to Emperor Marcus Aurelius why Christianity is a good thing; or failing that, what Christians believe and do as opposed to what is rumored; and why it was bad for the Empire to persecute Christians just for holding Christian beliefs. The apologia is circa 147-161 A.D. If you're interested at all in history, politics, or religion, this is like a trip in a time... Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1
The Urantia Book presents an integrated world view composed from the concepts and ideas of more than 2,000 individuals who have contributed to the fields of science, philosophy, religion, history, sociology and theology during the last 2,000 years. Compiled by an editorial staff of superhuman beings, the text provides a comprehensive perspective of human origins, history and destiny. ( 1 reviews ) Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Computer generated text to speech
A digest of Christian teaching from circa AD 60-100. Translated by Isaac Hall and John Napier. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 7, edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, American edition, 1886. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7, 1886.
Bishop Asterius of Amasea (c. 375-405 AD) talks about Christ's ideas on marriage, the wonderfulness of wives, and why casual divorce is a Bad Idea. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Ancient Sermons for Modern Times, tr. by Galusha Anderson and Edgar Johnson Goodspeed
A treatise on the validity of using images as an aid to worship by St. John of Damascus (aka St. John Damascene), written while he lived under the second generation of Muslim rule in Syria. But it was also aimed at the Iconoclasts (image-breakers) who controlled the Christian Byzantine Empire at the time, and were not above killing artists. St. John not only points out that icons support the doctrine of the Incarnation -- since God made flesh becomes visible and drawable -- but also that the... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: On holy images, followed by three sermons on the Assumption. Tr. by Mary H. Allies, 1898.
If it's easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved, what rich man will be? St. Clement of Alexandria comforts the worried and worries the comfortable in this Early Christian bestseller, which grapples with salvation, trust in God, and perseverance. Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion
An essay from an Early Christian bishop and martyr on the spiritual importance of unity in the Church. It stresses the importance of holding the same doctrine, but also the vital need for love and harmony within and among all Christians. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers
After the death of his brother St. Basil the Great, and after being unable to visit his eldest sister St. Macrina and his last surviving brother for eight long years, St. Gregory of Nyssa finally arrived for a visit and found his formidable sister on her deathbed. In an attempt to cheer him up, St. Macrina held a Socratic dialogue with him. He told about this in her biography, but had no space to include it. In this separate work, he does. Of course, both the vagaries of memory and the points... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Translation by William Moore and Henry Austin Wilson, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 2, Volume 5.
A dialogue between Catherine and God the Father. The second part of the book, "A Treatise on Discretion", discusses how all good things must be done with discretion, which is part of love; how Christ is like a bridge; how virtues and good works should not be done out of fear or as an end in themselves, but out of love; and how the soul should learn to love God unconditionally as a friend and adopted child, not just for God's good gifts. Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism Source: The Dialog of St. Catherine of Siena, CCEL
This is not so much a sermon on Advent or December, as the old fast of the "Ember Days" that used to be celebrated four times a year. (Zacharias 8:19: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and great solemnities.") The December ones always fell during Advent, of course, thus contributing to the penitential and preparatory... Topics: Spirituality, Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 12, CCEL
Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna writes to the Church in Philippi. At their request, the subject is righteousness and righteous living. Apparently, this letter was written either shortly before or after St. Ignatius of Antioch's martyrdom, as the Philippians are anxious to read Ignatius' letters and Polycarp is anxious to hear tidings of Ignatius. Way before the Council of Nicaea, though; so listen and find out what Christianity was like towards the end of its first century! Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
We discuss a nonfiction piece from the issue, Tom Vollman's "Jimmy." We discuss stories we've read and loved this week, including the latest issue of Prairie Schooner and Callan Wink's Dog Run Moon. We set writing goals for the summer. And we answer reader questions. Topics: fiction, nonfiction, poetry
The influential early Christian writer Tertullian gives his thoughts on the virtue of patience. As he freely admit, this is not typecasting. The man had some serious anger issues which do creep out, even here. But as he argues that all evil has its origin in impatience, you may find that today's hurried world tends to prove him right. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
This excerpt from St. Zeno of Verona's Tractatus talks about the unborn Jesus' time in Mary's womb. (Lib. ii., Tractatus viii. et ix., Patrologia Latina Tom. 11, pp. 413-417.) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers of the First Six Centuries by Thomas Livius, 1893.
And you thought Seinfeld was the first one to tell jokes about nothing! From the 1908 book On Nothing and Kindred Subjects, Hilaire Belloc brings us a short and funny essay "On the Pleasure of Taking Up One's Pen". Enjoy! favoritefavorite ( 3 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, essays, comedy Source: On Nothing and Kindred Subjects, by Hilaire Belloc
This article chronicles a reporter's attempts to secure an interview with G.K. Chesterton during his lecture tour of the US in that year. Funny stuff. Also provides a backstage peek at Chesterton's family, manager, and staff. favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, history Source: The Bookman, March 1921 issue
Listen and pray along while meditating on the life of Jesus Christ, as seen by His mother Mary. Includes scripture readings for all four sets of mysteries (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious). Also includes optional files for the Apostle's Creed and the Hail Holy Queen ending sequence. favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews ) Topics: Spirituality, Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Traditional
A spiritual classic written for those in religious life, but used for centuries by all sorts of Christians. Book 1: Part 1 | Book 2 | Book 3: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Book 4: Part 1 | Part 2 Topics: mysticism, Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: The Imitation of Christ, CCEL
Published in 1496 as part of the Book of St. Albans, and written by an English prioress, this little treatise explains how to make a telescoping fishing rod, fishing line, and hooks. It also explains how to fish, when, and where. However, for the non-angler, the real pleasure of this treatise is its pleasant tone and small nuggets of wisdom. favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, fishing
A treatise on the Holy Spirit, Biblical references to the Trinity, Baptism, and the relation of all this to Christ's Church. St. Basil the Great was the brother of St. Macrina and St. Gregory of Nyssa, and a great friend of St. Gregory Nazianzen. He served as Bishop of Caesarea, where he built the Ptochoptopheion, a huge complex of buildings to serve as a hotel for friendless strangers, a hospital and clinic for the poor, and vocational training for unskilled workers. He wrote this treatise for... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, Theology
A short but interesting homily on Melchizadek as a "type" or foreshadowing of Christ, and on why Paul referenced him in his epistle at all. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Gardiner translation
Jerusalem, 300-something AD. Christians are holding classes with content the attendees are sworn not to reveal to the uninitiated. But one teacher's class lectures were written down.... More solid teaching from that quirky teacher and bishop, St. Cyril of Jerusalem. Catechetical Lectures: Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Mystagogical Lectures Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, CCEL
It's almost Easter, and Cyril concludes his classes for those about to be received into Baptism and Communion with the Church with rousing lectures on the Last Judgement, Antichrist, the Holy Spirit, and other stuff they need to know. Now also including the last two of the Mystagogical Lectures, because there was no room at the server for them. Catechetical Lectures: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Mystagogical Lectures Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism
Martin of Tours became an important monk and bishop in Gaul not long after Christianity was made legal again. Sulpitius Severus, a well-educated man who knew Martin toward the end of his life, decided to write Martin's biography before he died, and set out to interview the man himself and those who knew him, as well as recording well-known stories about him. The result is an intriguing mixture of history and hagiography that includes glimpses of the Emperors Julian and Maximus, as well as a... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, history
The bestselling spiritual classic from the Middle Ages continues, with more talk of detachment from unhappiness, things people say about you, and unfortunate events. There is also advice on how to deal with temptation. Book 1: Part 1 | Part 2 | Book 2 | Book 3:Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Book 4: Part 1 | Part 2 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, CCEL
A deacon requests advice on how best to explain the faith to people who want to become Christian, how to know how he's doing at it, and how to keep it interesting both to them and himself. Augustine's answer touches on all sorts of things, from teaching, public speaking, and linguistics to salvation history and the psychology of converts. Interesting and useful stuff! Translated by the Rev. C.L. Cornish, 1847. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Seventeen Short Treatises of St. Augustine, trans. by C.L. Cornish and H. Browne, 1847.
This early Christian work, a "bestseller" in its time, concludes with more rural parables about the Church and about Church members who badly need to repent. Also provides an interesting look at the most common problems and failings of early Christians living in an anti-Christian world. Book 1 Book 2: Part 1 | Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Shepherd of Hermas, translated by J.B. Lightfoot
This fictional dialogue about how Christians should deal with troubles and persecution is set in Hungary immediately prior to an attack by the Ottoman Empire. It was written in the Tower of London while More awaited execution for his religious beliefs. St. Thomas More was chancellor of England, a humanist philosopher, and an early science fiction writer. He was also a good husband and father, and advocate of education for women. He died a martyr under his former friend, King Henry VIII. Part 2... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, philosophy
A treatise on prayer by a great early Christian theologian from Alexandria. Using prayers from both the Old and New Testament as examples, he creates a primer on what sort of things a Christian should pray for, and how. His primary tool for doing this is a detailed interpretation of the Lord's Prayer. Some of the theology, Biblical interpretation, and Christian practice that he advocates has been developed further since his time. So you may need to take these bits with a grain of salt. But much... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, spirituality Source: Origen on Prayer, translated by William A. Curtis
Excerpts about the Transfiguration of Christ, from Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism Source: Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew by Origen
Facing martyrdom -- okay, running toward it with open arms -- the old Syrian bishop, once a disciple of the Apostle John, still took time to write letters to the Christians in various cities. Here's the one he wrote to the Church in Rome. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religious Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson
On his way to martyrdom in Rome, Bishop Ignatius of Antioch (then in Syria; now Antakya, Turkey) wrote letters to the Church in several cities of the Empire. Seven of these letters survive. By the way, you'll notice that the good bishop is not shy about calling Jesus "God". (So much for that Da Vinci Code silliness....) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
An examination of, and meditation upon, the seven sayings spoken by Jesus on the cross -- aka "the seven last words" -- as well as the associated total solar eclipse. Every saying is examined from different perspectives, each intended to make the reader think more deeply about Jesus' life and death and feel the sayings' applications to his own life. The writer also provides various suggestions for enriching one's faith life and doing good. St. Robert Bellarmine was a famous and... Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion, crucifixion